'It was my guiding light,' says Calgary mother who helped pregnancy loss program get new Foothills clinic | CBC NewsAction.News ABC Action News Santa Barbara Calgary WestNet-HD Weather Traffic

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Updated: 18th October 2018 18:14

'It was my guiding light,' says Calgary mother who helped pregnancy loss program get new Foothills clinic

Grieving families who have lost infants during pregnancy or shortly after birth have a new space to find help and counselling at a Calgary hospital.

Kristina Oriold was inspired to raise money for the program after its counselling got her through her loss

Kristina Oriold, left, lost a daughter shortly after birth. The counselling she received from Azmina Lakhani, right, helped her get through the loss and inspired her to raise money so that the program at the Foothills hospital could consolidate into single, dedicated clinic. (Reid Southwick/CBC)

Grieving families who have lost infants during pregnancy or shortly after birth have a new space to find help and counselling at a Calgary hospital.

The pregnancy and infant loss program at the Foothills Medical Centre was previously spread out on different floors and in separate buildings.

But thanks in part to a woman who was helped by the program, the hospital is now operating it out of a newly renovated clinic.

Kristina Oriold said the centre gave her hope after she lost one of her twin daughters shortly after birth.

"I felt depressed and I didn't know where to turn. A friend found the pregnancy and infant loss programs for me and I just feel like it was my guiding light in terms of just finding my way through that," she said.

Oriold and a friend later started a charity that raised the money to set up the new consolidated space.

"We provide a safer place and a more comfortable place and a more private space for people to come and experience their loss and have the dignity that they deserve during that process," said Bryan Peffers, executive director of women's health at the hospital.

There are about 4,000 miscarriages and 200 stillbirths and neonatal deaths in the Calgary area each year.

The program takes in more than 1,500 patients each year.

With files from Reid Southwick

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